Woman, 92, Discovered Breathing After Being Declared Dead

Nurses at a hospital in north Queensland, Australia were preparing to move the body of a "deceased" patient when they discovered she was still breathing.

Local hospital staff informed relatives of Rita Ring of Innisfail, Australia that the 92-year-old had died after a doctor declared her dead.

But staff had to tell Ring's family a short time later that there had been a mistake and she was still alive.

Hospital sources have claimed nurses were preparing to put Ring in a body bag when they discovered she was breathing. However, Queensland Health officials have denied this claim.

The horror story, which happened on May 3, has sparked an internal investigation at Innisfail Hospital.

Ring subsequently died three days after the mistake, and family and friends gathered in Innisfail Monday for her funeral.

Innisfail Hospital medical superintendent, Dr. Peter McKenna apologized Monday but defended the "experienced" doctor and insisted Ring received the "highest possible level of care."

He said Ring had no vital signs at the time she was declared dead.

"It then appears that her life signs returned several minutes after the doctor had left the room and were noted by the attending nurses," McKenna said.

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